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Rabbi Marc Rosenstein

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All Israel are responsible for [the sins of] each other.      – Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 27b

Spending a month in the US on an academic project, which began just as the latest flare-up between Israel and Hamas started, has given me a lot to think about.

Drinking latte on the Upper West Side and seeing Shakespeare in the Park between reading headlines from Israel creates a weird dissonance of guilt and worry, anger and… relief.  Letters from home speak more of depression than worry, even though the worry never recedes from consciousness because I know that family and...

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He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. (Psalms 23:2)

Recently we faced the challenge of planning a family day-excursion that needed to be appropriate for grandparents, parents, and babies. It also needed to be to a nature reserve or equivalent, but only a short drive from home. Scanning the map of the Galilee, we remembered Tel Afek, a nature reserve that is only half an hour away, but which we hadn’t visited for at least a dozen years. I don’t even know why; perhaps because it’s not very sexy in terms of its attractions. We probably went there a...

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[Jeremiah] spoke to King Zedekiah…: Put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and live! (for this is Israel’s punishment for injustice and idolatry) – Jeremiah 27:12

…The prophet Hananiah son of Azzur…said: Thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: I hereby break the yoke of the king of Babylon. (for God will protect and support Israel unconditionally) – Jeremiah 28:1-2

I recently attended a demonstration of the “Light Tag” coalition, in front of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s residence. We were about 500, with many familiar faces,...

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In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country. This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.        – Israel Declaration of Independence...

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On the fifteenth day of the eighth month – the month in which he had contrived of his own mind to establish a festival for the Israelites – Jeroboam ascended the altar that he had made in Bethel.        – I Kings 12:33 [an act of rebellion: see Leviticus 23:34]

As I wrote a few months ago, this Jewish year is a leap year, in which a second month of Adar was inserted; were it not for this extra month, Pesach would have fallen before the spring equinox, and thus would not have been the Festival of Spring. The Jewish calendar's 19 year cycle of leap years is designed to harmonize...

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